Topic Author
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:32 pm

Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 4:47 am

Hey guys,

I'll be going on a tour of the Balkans next month and for one of my flights at its conclusion, I'd need to fly from ZAG-VIE (then connecting onward to TLV after a 4-hour layover). My flight would be at 0810 and because its an international flight (but inter-European), I'd prepare to arrive at ZAG around 3 hours beforehand (i.e. 0500). Consequentially I'd need to wake up at my hostel between 3:45-4 am.

I was wondering how quickly the check-in at ZAG would be during that time of day, and whether I ultimately need to be there 3 hours before or if an arrival slightly later (say 0530 or even 0600) would suffice for my journey from check-in to the gate.

Any advice on this would really help me out.

Toronto-based flyer since 1997
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:28 pm

Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 3:04 pm


Although I did not use the new terminal yet (opened late March), you really don't need to be there 3 hours in advance.
Even in the old, cramped terminal, it was pretty much comfortable to be there 90 minutes in advance with a checked bag, and 60 minutes if no checked bag.

I guess you will be taking OU 440? This means you can check in online and go to the drop off point for your bag, and save time on this too.

Topic Author
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:32 pm

Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 4:22 pm

Yes, exactly that flight! I should be arriving in Zagreb from Split the day before at around 1600 and at that point I could check in. If I wanted to, I could even check-in online back in Split, since I'd leave for Zagreb at either 10 am or 11:15 am and both times are within 24 hours of departure.

I should still get myself to the airport 120 minutes or so in advance then, since I'd need to get from my hostel to the central bus station and then take the Croatian Airlines shuttle from there to the terminal. At least I won't need to wake up at 3:45-4 am as originally intended.
Toronto-based flyer since 1997
Posts: 3795
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 5:23 pm

Three hours is waaaaay too much time. There is a big OU hub movement around 8am, but the airport is still not very big, and certainly much smaller than any Western European Hub. Arriving 90 minutes before will be fine. Check in closes 45 minutes before, so I would aim to be there 60 minutes before at the latest. But 90 is fine, especially early in the morning.

If you are based in TLV, I can understand your issues, especially as it's "international". The reality is that you will have to go through security (5-15 mins queuing?), and then go to the gate, being there at least 20 mins before. Plus queue at check your bags if you have them (another 15 mins max?), otherwise make sure you get your boarding pass the previous day (or just use a mobile boarding pass). There's no invasive security interview!

Croatia is not in the Schengen Area, so you will also have to go through immigration, but unless you've overstayed, that should simply be a short queue then a stamp (assuming you're non EU passport).
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Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 5:37 pm

With an electronic boarding pass I generally aim to be at the airport 1H30M before departure. This includes all flights, Intl, Domestic and Trans-Border (Canada to USA Pre-Clear). I routinely arrive at YYZ 1H30M before all of my flights and have done the same for many other large airports, MIA, LIS, BCN etc. But then again I usually never check a bag... Most flights in Europe the check-in counters close 45 mins before departure (Not 1 hour), at least in my experience, it also depends on the airline too.

Just doing a quick search for departures out of ZAG today, there are only 14 departures from 6am-9am, which really isn't a whole lot, there should be no issues going through security. If I was you I would aim to be there by 0630, if you have to check a bag maybe 0600-0615 to be on the safe side.
Topic Author
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:32 pm

Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 6:09 pm

I don't live in TLV (large extended family all over Israel though, and am visiting them immediately prior to going on my tour); Toronto's my hometown but I have to go back there to catch my flight back to YYZ 2 days later. Even though I live 20-30 km from YYZ I still ideally like to be there 2-3 hours before my flight depending on the destination, due to the oftentimes long security check.

I will have to check a bag, so 0600-0630 would be the latest I'd ideally like to be at ZAG then.
Toronto-based flyer since 1997
Posts: 2269
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

Re: Checking in at ZAG

Fri May 19, 2017 6:33 pm

Well I'm pretty sure ZAG is nothing like YYZ.

I don't remember any queues at ZAG, at passport or immigration. Not more than a couple of minutes...

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